Guwahati: The Indian Tea Association has said that the buyers need to be consulted before any decision is taken on opening up a tea auction centre in Tripura.

On May 9, a discussion was held after the Tea Board of India received a letter from the Tripura government, requesting the former to set up a new auction centre in Agartala for enabling the tea growers of the state to get a better value for their production.

The tea production in Tripura is around 10 million kg and there is a possibility to add another 10 million kg from surrounding regions like North Cachar Hills of Assam, Southern Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to the proposed auction centre.

The Board has informed Tripura government that opening an auction centre in today’s digital era doesn’t seem justifiable, and hence the Board had informed the government that instead of establishing an auction centre, ex-estate sales of Tripura tea may be explored which will further reduce the transportation cost of offering tea into auction and thereby maximizing the profit of the sellers.

The Tea Board has also suggested the possibility of creating a separate catalogue for Tripura tea for better visibility.

Sujit Patra, secretary of the Indian Tea Association, said that for any auction centre, the buyers play an important role and hence a detailed study should be carried out before taking a final decision on the proposals of the board.

Patra said the possibility of participation of Bangladesh buyers in the auction can also be explored. Moreover, feasibility of transportation of tea from Tripura to Kolkata through Bangladesh may also be looked into which will save transportation cost as well as logistical issues in case of Tripura tea.

Atul Rastogi, Director of Manu Valley tea estate, said buyers and brokers should thoroughly examine the feasibility. The competition in auction and the fair price discovery shouldn’t be compromised at any cost. 

Representatives of broker companies Parcon and J Thomas informed that they need some time to comment on the issue as the same is to be consulted with their members. 

Representatives of Mjunction Services Limited, who organize the Jorhat auction, has given their consent about ex-factory sale of Tripura tea. 

Representatives of Tata Consumer Products said that present only 7-8 million kgs of Tripura tea are offered in the auctions.  Any attempt to create a separate catalogue for Tripura tea may set precedence for other teas in future,  which may not be a healthy proposal to ponder even.

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